Charles Leclerc, Ferrari, Paul Ricard, 2019

Improving qualifying is my main target – Leclerc

2019 Canadian Grand Prix

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Charles Leclerc says qualifying is the main area he needs to improve at the moment.

The Ferrari driver took pole position for the Bahrain Grand Prix but has been out-qualified by team mate Sebastian Vettel at every other race so far this year. Leclerc said his starting position in Canada flattered his performance in qualifying.

“I did some mistakes which I need to work on,” he admitted. “To put everything together in qualifying I think is my main target at the moment because during the race the performance was very strong on my side so I was very happy with it.

“In qualifying unfortunately I did some mistakes and I think we actually [were] lucky to start from third position. I need to learn from this, try to get better in this particular session and then the results will come together.”

Leclerc says avoiding errors is only one aspect of his qualifying performance he needs to improve.

“I think it’s a combination of things. Now I’m learning from it, I think I shall be more aware about – and this is myself – there needs to be more asking about the weather conditions. The wind with these cars is very powerful. It changed a little bit during qualifying in Canada.

“It’s not the main issue, I think the main issue is that I need to put everything together in my lap driving-wise. Trying to have maybe a bit more predictable set-up and to have also the set-up that is perfect for Q3, not Q1. So to try to anticipate a little bit the evolution of the track will be key.”

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Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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2 comments on “Improving qualifying is my main target – Leclerc”

  1. So, I think once again Leclerc is a bit faster than Vettel, so he needs a good qualifying. But, with the races so far, unless Vettel makes a mistake/has an issue soon in the race, I am still hesitant to predict him doing better than Vettel in the race, thanks to the Ferrari strategy choices – could see Leclerc being put on an odd 2-stopper or something, whatever, which puts him behind Verstappen, but maybe with the FLAP in hand?

    So, in conclusion: yes, he needs to keep it clean on Saturday, but not convinced that is the ultimate fix for his Sundays.

    1. @bosyber Leclerc does tend to be faster on Sunday than Vettel is. But then the Ferrari strategy of using Leclerc as a pawn for Vettel costs him a lot of time and positions. There hasn’t been a single race where Ferrari didn’t ruin Leclerc’s race in some way.

      In Canada Leclerc was half a second a lap faster on the hard tyres than Vettel and also faster than Bottas in the Mercedes. Bottas had to get a fresh pair of soft tyres to be able to take fastest lap away from Leclerc.

      While Vettel was struggling to stay ahead of Hamilton let alone take the FLAP.

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